Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ted Cruz on CNBC's Squawk Box

If you have some time on your hands you might want to spend three-quarters of an hour watching Ted Cruz on CNBC’s Squawk Box. The interview took place last Friday. It’s far more interesting than the soundbite journalism that has come to define the election campaign.

Without any comments from me:


Anonymous said...

Very impressive!

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I agree....

Anonymous said...

You have lost credibility with your and-Trump rhetoric. Ted Cruz can't win only at a brokered convention on the 2nd ballot. Republican in charge hate Cruz. You on the wrong road. Sop

Sam L. said...

Anon, would you please try again on you comment? I'm not understanding it.

Ares Olympus said...

Cruz certainty can talk more coherently than your average republican candidate for a while, and that's a plus, even when he's out right lying, you can't easily tell, but you feel better, so that's what's important.

I see the interview starts with the topic of economic growth, and Cruz sees if we could return to a time of 3-5% annual growth, we'd break out of this stagnant economy.

What's more scary is to consider that we've not been floundering since 2008, but floundering since the 1970's and we've just found better and better ways to hide this fact, with increases in debt as the most excellent solution to keep growth going even when its not.

GDP is also a tricky measure, since it goes up no matter how wasteful your spending, like tearing down a debt-free dome stadium and replacing it with a billion dollar stadium, 100% funded by debt, and 50% public debt. But the new Viking Stadium does look nice, or at least imposing.

But back to GDP, there's a thing called hedonic adjustments that increases the GDP even when it doesn't increase. Chris Martenson talks about it in his Crash course, 20 minutes, also worth hearing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpNt2JdCcFA The Crash Course - Chapter 18 - Fuzzy Numbers

So the problem is if we've become so good at hiding our problems, politicians can't really tell the truth, but have to double-down on old bad promises, and then if they're elected, they have to find ways to "measure" progress, even when we're going backwards.

Can you imagine a world where we actually wanted the average citizen to be debt-free? We used to live in that world, but if we tried that now, our collective self-deceptions would become apparent, and we'd have to stop pretending imaginary growth solves all problems, and that growth is a special condition that happens for the young and stops when you grow up, and you can't grow taller, only wider.

Ares Olympus said...

@34:00 I see they introduce Art Laffer, who states that the Cruz plan is more ambitious than Reagan's and ought to spark the economy even better.

I recall the first George H. W. Bush called Laffer's ideas voodoo economics AND Reagan's budget director David Stockman who originally supported trickle down economics has reversed course and says it was the right solution then, but its the wrong solution now, given the massive amounts of debt we have.

And @38:50, the topic of global warming is mentioned, and Cruz responses with a story about 18 year plateau in satellite data, since the last big El Nino years of 1998.

Well, at least on that argument, the 2015/16 El Nino has finally spiked the lower atmospheric temperatures above the 1998 peak. Dr. Roy Spencer, a climate scientist and skeptic, measures the data. I'm not sure if the spikes are what's important. I think they just make it harder to extract long term trends. Also the satellite data excludes high latitude measurements, and a large fraction of the warming is at the poles. Anyway can also note that the monthly temperature has not fallen below the ZERO mark since 2012.

So anyway, I choose to disapprove of Cruz repeating his 18-year talking point when he's cherry picking a single source of measurement to defend his selective ignorance, AND his selected source is saying the opposite of what he's claiming.

There is no slow down to the long term trends.

Ares Olympus said...

@11:24 Cruz speaks against a national minimum wage, although acknowledging cities and states have the right to do so.

I admit supporting a $15 national minimum wage is more foolish progressive-PR than good sense, especially given the wide range of cost of living between locations.

And by location, actually the cost of living, like "The rent is too damn high" is a legitimate problem that is better solved by investing in lower-cost housing options than forcing higher wages to the benefit of lucky landlords who happened upon a good market.

@13:50 he says he wants a flat 10% tax rate, which all sounds good - everyone is happy because their taxes are lower, until they find all the services that they lose, and all the new "user fees" on our roads and schools and parks and all that increases the costs of living for the poor more than the rich. So the net effect is the rich pay much less and the rest will pay much more.